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determine how much balsa sticks needed for scratch build

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determine how much balsa sticks needed for scratch build

Old 06-04-2017, 01:54 PM
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rccrazedman
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Exclamation determine how much balsa sticks needed for scratch build

I am getting ready to start building a short kit model of a DC 6 Mainliner designed by Pat Tritle. For any of you that are unaware, a short kit is a kit with only the laser cut parts and plans with no sticks or sheets that would be needed to complete the kit. Here is link to a photo I found online of the model completed minus covering to show you what I'm working on. http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/atta...7&d=1153673540
I have searched online and on r/c universe without finding any answers to my question for the last two days getting frustrated in the process. Maybe I'm just dense and maybe I am the only one that doesn't know how to determine how much balsa/wood I need for a scratch build model. Can someone please clue me in on how you would go about figuring out how much wood materials that I would need for this project by looking at the plan. There is a lot of sticks required but I cant seem to figure out exactly what I would need before I make an order online as there is one hobby shop close to me but he doesn't have balsa there where I can just go and pickup wood. I want to buy enough wood online to finish this plane without having to much left over and not to have make a second order and pay double shipping. I will buy an extra stick or two for mistakes i might make in the build process. Thanks in advance.
Old 06-04-2017, 04:10 PM
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Just take out the plans, and measure and record the length of each piece on the plans, along with its cross section (i.e., 1/4" sq or 1/16" x 3", etc). When you're done, you can sort them by cross section and then condense the number of items down. For instance, if you have eight, 4" x 1/4 sq pieces in the nose, you'll need one 36" 1/4 sq piece. Do that enough, and you end up a manageable list of wood types and quantities to order. I usually order about 10% more than required to allow for some of the less than ideal pieces you'll get, like warped items, too hard or too soft, etc.
Old 06-05-2017, 07:46 PM
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Ok thanks. I will have to recheck my calculations to make sure I'm right. I figured something like 60 sticks of one size.I think I calculated wrong because to me for one airplane 60 sticks of one size sounds excessive.
Old 06-08-2017, 05:02 AM
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I'd invest in one of these, then just buy sheet stock
TowerHobbies.com | Master Airscrew Balsa Stripper

I use mine all the time, it works well on thinner stock,, 1/4" you'll have to make a couple passes, so depending on what you need to cut,, it's an option..

Good luck
Old 06-08-2017, 04:19 PM
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rccrazedman
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This looks like a real nice tool. Mount it to a solid piece of hard wood for a base and add a hardwood guide fence with the tool bolted to the top of the fence and this should make a great tool. I have a bare bones model that I was building when the fuselage sticks broke. So my genius idea i took a 36" long sheet and using my band saw ripped it into 1/8 x 1/4 sticks to start all over again. Anyway I got decent stick but some of them turned out a little inaccurate because I had a little bit of a hard time keeping it straight while running the sheet out. I was looking for a better idea to get or build something with a guide fence to get more accurate strips and this looks like the ticket. this tool really works good and cuts straight sticks?
Old 06-11-2017, 08:37 AM
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I also recommend some manner of balsa stripper or even slice your own from sheet stock. Buying smaller sizes of strip wood such as you will need for a Pat Trittle design is not only costly but often there's a high reject rate due to kinks and warping in the smaller strip wood. So I make it a point to strip my own from selected sheet stock for any sizes under 1/4" square. It's a little more work but if you do it well the results are well worth it.

For this same wood quality issue I would also suggest that you order more wood than you think you need. First off there is the issue of wood quality. Balsa is a highly variable material in terms of weight and grain structure. You will be missing half the picture if you assume and use it as if it is "just balsa". You need to look at and select the wood based on both weight and grain with an extra eye on consistency of both along the length of the sheets. You want to use the lighter ends of the sheet or strip wood at the tail of the model to avoid using nose weight as much as you can. But you want to use heavier and harder wood for the more load bearing items like wing spars and leading edges that tend to get punished.

And you can't do this if you don't have some extra wood stock to pick through. So it would be false economy to order ONLY enough to do the job.
Old 06-13-2017, 10:29 AM
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well I am going to make my order on National Balsa so if I buy the sticks needed it will cost me $50 compared to costing me $38 for sheets plus the stripping tool. this is including extra sheets to give me margin for error. So with the shipping this is going to cost me $54 in the end to go the cheaper route. plus I'm sure in the future I could save farther being that I will already have the tool. thanks guys I will go the stripping route because if I made an error counting what sticks i need just one extra sheet can get me as little a 6 extra sticks if i'm cutting the 1/2 wide strips.

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